Ipoh girl wins Michelin Star for new restaurant in Paris

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018

?Kwen Liew (left) and Ryunosuke Naito at their Michelin-starred restaurant Pertinence. Photo via Pertinence Facebook page.

PETALING JAYA: From the hawker stalls of Singapore to the fine dining restaurants of Paris, Malaysian chefs are making their mark in the highly coveted Michelin Guide.

First there was Ipoh-born Chan Hon Meng, whose chicken rice stall in Singapore got a Michelin star in 2016.

Now another Ipoh lass, Kwen Liew and her Japanese husband Ryunosuke Naito, who co-own Pertinence Restaurant in Paris, have been awarded a Michelin star in the 2018 Michelin Guide France.

The latest French edition of the culinary bible celebrated the growing influence of Asian chefs dazzling the world of French gastronomy.

On its website on March 7, the Michelin Guide described Liew and Naito's achievement as a "beautiful story of two Asian chefs getting their first Michelin star".

"Just seven months after opening their restaurant, Japanese Ryunosuke Naito (who trained at some of the most prestigious restaurants in Paris – including Taillevent and Le Meurice) and Malaysian Kwen Liew were awarded a Michelin Star for their interpretations of French cuisine," it said.

"Naito carefully and expertly transforms market-fresh ingredients into succulent classical French dishes, brushing away the cobwebs of tradition along the way," it added.

Kwen is believed to be the first female Malaysian chef to win a Michelin star.

Located in Paris, Pertinence opened doors in March 2017 and has already won the hearts of critics with its good food and service.

Boasting a gourmet menu that includes pan seared foie gras and Iberico pork pluma, Liew and Naito offer classical French cuisine prepared with a twist through Japanese techniques.

A total of 57 new restaurants were added to the 2018 Michelin Guide France, making up a total of 621 Michelin-starred restaurants in the country.

The Michelin Guide, established in 1900, awards restaurants based on a three-star model: the first star indicates a very good restaurant, a second star awarded would mean that it has “excellent cooking, worth a detour”, and the third star demonstrates that the food served has “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”.

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